This week, fresh from a successful Greatest Hits Concert held on Friday at the Harare International Conference Centre, music icon Oliver Mtukudzi, will start a whirlwind tour of philanthropic activities that will start with a visit of the flood-hit Tokwe-Mukosi region.
On Wednesday, April 30, 2014, Tuku will join about 30 other artists on a planned humanitarian trip to the Chingwizi camp at Nuanetsi Ranch in Chivi, located close to the Tokwe –Mukosi reservoir catchment basin where floods wrecked havoc earlier this year. The camp is currently home to thousands of villagers who lost their homes in the floods.
The following day, Workers’ Day, Tuku will spend the morning at Harare Hospital spreading good cheer to nurses and patients. “We’ve heard about the dire need that the hospital has for assistance in various areas,” Tuku said, “and we want to shed some light on this so that we can get more people to chip in and help.”
Tuku will visit some of the wards, give out get well soon cards and chat to nurses and patients. He will then give a short performance for hospital staff and some of the patients.
Next week on Wednesday May 8, Tuku will donate his time for a guest performance at a Watershed College fundraising concert to be held at the Meikles Hotel. The school is raising money to send its Marimba Band to the International Music Festival in Brazil and Argentina next month.
Tuku visited Watershed College near Marondera to lend support to the school’s music development programme a few weeks ago and was impressed by the talent and enthusiasm that the marimba band showed.
In August 2013 Watershed College’s Marimba Band took part in the 2nd Education Africa International Marimba and Steelpan Festival in South Africa among 70 different bands from all over the continent. They fared really well and won four of the top prizes, including 1st Place Battle of the Bands Category, 1st Place Proudly African / South African Category, Best Marimba Band at the Festival and Most Spirited Band at the Festival.
As a result of their performance at the festival they were selected to represent Africa at the International Festival in Brazil/Argentina.
During Tuku’s visit to the school, the Band showed why they won so many awards in South Africa last year. Their spirited performance in front of Tuku and the rest of the school won them loud applause and praise from the musical ambassador.
In February Tuku spoke about some long term projects that he was planning to help build structures for the music industry through the work being done at the Arts Centre. The music outreach is the start of this initiative.
“As Tuku Music and Pakare Paye we are finding ways in which we can support musical talent around the country,” he said. “We saw there was amazing talent at Watershed and when they invited us to support them with their show, we did not hesitate.”
Watershed is trying to raise $US100,000 to send the 45 strong Marimba Band to the festival. They have US$27,000 to go. In his remarks to the students Tuku said it was important to value their individual talents. “There is only one you, and if you don’t do you, who will?” He asked his attentive audience. He encouraged them not to imitate other cultures and to be proud of being who they were.
Tuku is a UNICEF ambassador and has travelled to schools in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, inspiring students with his message of believing in who they are, never giving up and not imitating other cultures. He also mentors a number of young artists at his Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton, just outside Harare.Post published in: Arts